VTT was the first organization in Finland to be awarded the Hyvän mielen työpaikka® (“Workplace with a Good Feeling”) designation by Mieli ry, a Finnish association promoting mental health and problem prevention, This recognition is an indication of the fact that VTT is doing a remarkable job in promoting mental well-being.
At VTT, well-being is an important strategic focus area and part of our employer promise. VTT's top management is committed to supporting well-being, which is reflected in both the messages from the management and in the resources reserved for well-being. Well-being of the mind is one of VTT's priorities for 2020, and we will continue to invest heavily in it.
"Well-being of the mind is a key part of overall well-being," says Peppi Härme, leader of VTT's well-being team. “It can also be difficult to leave work behind, and it may also put a strain on the employee outside working hours. The goal is for our staff to be able to play their full role in both their work and in their free time.”
Recognition for responsible work
The “Workplace with a Good Feeling” designation can be awarded to companies that are actively working for the well-being of the mind. The designation encourages the promotion of mental health and provides tools for such work. The recognition is an indication of a responsible employer, one that promotes well-being of the mind in its own work and organizational culture.
The designation shows that an objective, external party also sees the efforts that we have taken as valuable. For us, this is a very positive signal that we have done some things well and that we are headed in the right direction,” Härme says.
Versatile means are available
VTT takes a comprehensive approach to the well-being of the mind, and a great deal of support is available. Supervisors are trained, for example, in work ability management together with the occupational health department and the occupational pension insurer. Supervisor work and the work of teams in ways that promote the well-being of the mind are also included in broader supervisor training. In addition, the causes behind absences related to mental health are clarified in collaboration with the occupational health department, and efforts are taken to prevent absences through early intervention.
All VTT personnel have tools at their disposal which support mental well-being - for example, digital and psychological coaching services for personal needs. The range of tools also includes moments of mindfulness, lectures on mental well-being, and coaching on first aid in mental health. Such work is coordinated by a welfare team established two years ago, which facilitates action throughout the organization.
Active work brings about visible results
The effectiveness of actions is measured through staff surveys. A well-being index is built into the survey. It is part of VTT's broader organizational culture index, which, in turn, is one of the company's main indicators.
The survey was last conducted in the spring, carried out now for the third time in the same way. Compared to the previous survey conducted around 1.5 years earlier, staff's experience of well-being had improved significantly. The work conducted and the measures taken had produced measurable results.
For VTT, the “Workplace with a Good Feeling” designation represents icing on the cake, but, in itself, it changes nothing. “Our work for well-being will continue with the same effort and intensity as before. When the staff feel well, the company also feels well,” Härme says in conclusion.